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Where to stay, what to eat, and all the things to see and do in NewcastleGateshead this spring
- Arusa Qureshi
- 10 April 2018
From extraordinary food and drink to lively arts and entertainment, there are plenty of reasons to put NewcastleGateshead on the top of your list in 2018
Aside from its world-renowned nightlife, there are plenty of reasons that NewcastleGateshead belongs on your 'must visit' list in 2018, from the flourishing restaurant and bar scene and the wide range of museums, to the fascinating architecture and events on offer. Having been named the number one place that should be on travellers' radars for 2018 by Rough Guides, you can expect to be well and truly bowled over by this vibrant and diverse city.
Museums & Galleries
The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a world-class attraction housed on the south bank of the River Tyne and it's worth visiting for the building alone, not to mention its ever-changing programme of exhibitions, installations and contemporary visual art. For more terrific art and sculpture alongside an impressive permanent collection, visit the Laing Art Gallery on New Bridge Street or The Biscuit Factory, which is the UK's largest independent commercial art gallery, playing host to four major exhibitions a year. The Discovery Museum is Newcastle's science and local history centre, while the Great North Museum: Hancock has a focus on natural history and ancient civilisations.
With Antony Gormley's Angel of the North welcoming visitors into Gateshead, you know that there's bound to be more recognisable art and architecture in the city. And perhaps the most characteristic view is created by the seven bridges of Newcastle and Gateshead, including the arched Tyne Bridge and the more recently constructed Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne. Walk along the Quayside to catch sight of the magnificent Sage Gateshead concert hall, with its curved glass and stainless steel design or for one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Britain, visit Newcastle Castle, which dates back to 1178.
There's no shortage of both high-end and budget eateries in NewcastleGateshead, with options to suit every taste and craving. Starks Kitchen in Heaton is stylish in its décor and modern British café-influenced menu, with high-quality cooking and fresh dishes. Blackfriars Restaurant is a more traditional British restaurant located in a 13th-century medieval friary and Quay Ingredient under the Tyne Bridge is a popular choice for its breakfast menu and homemade delights. Head to the Zucchini Pasta Bar for hand-rolled fresh egg pasta in a casual setting and the hip and elegant Lola Jeans for burgers, boozy cocktails and BBQ sharing boards.
Bars & Nightlife
World Headquarters is your first port of call for a decent night out, with world-class DJs regularly making the bill. Elsewhere, Digital has four rooms equipped with full Funktion-One sound and the small-capacity Cosmic Ballroom is a warehouse-like space with a strong focus on house and techno. The Boiler Shop hosts live music alongside club nights and food events, while The Cluny is the place to enjoy a pint alongside the best up-and-coming bands. For bars, the Wylam Brewery Tap Room is open from Thursday to Sunday, pouring exclusive brews and blends; the Tyne Bar boasts delicious locally brewed real ales and a fine view of the Tyne; and Pleased To Meet You is a trendy spot specialising in craft beers and gin.
For a luxury stay, Jesmond Dene House is a grand country house just a short drive from the city centre. The Sandman Signature is a chic, boutique hotel just over the road from Newcastle United's St James' Park; and the Vermont Hotel is a sophisticated 1930s-style hotel located next to Newcastle Castle. If you're on a budget, Newcastle's variety of low-cost hotels and hostels will make you spoilt for choice. For somewhere convenient, stylish and surprisingly low cost, check out Motel One. The bunk-bedded Albatross Hostel is also right in the city centre. The Cairn Hotel is well-priced for its contemporary style, as is the central Georgian Grey Street Hotel.
Summer 2018 is the ideal time to plan your trip to NewcastleGateshead with the arrival of the Great Exhibition of the North (22 Jun–9 Sep), a two-month celebration of the pioneering spirit of the North of England. Expect a packed programme of exhibitions, performances, events and more ranging from the Lauren Laverne curated Great North Soundtrack, with music at Sage Gateshead; a new exhibition by recent Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid; and Robots – Then and Now at the Life Science Centre, which tells the story of automated machines, featuring Pepper the fist-bumping robot.
There's also the Dacia Magic Weekend (19–20 May) which sees the return of Super League (Europe) to St. James' Park and the brand new This Is Tomorrow music festival (25 May), where you'll find the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Everything Everything, Little Comets and Sam Fender. Also in May, the Late Shows (18–19 May) are well worth venturing out for. The two-day late-night culture crawl gives you the opportunity to visit museums, galleries and historical buildings for one-off events including parties and behind-the-scenes tours.